A new study finds that low-dose occupational radiation exposure is unlikely to cause mesothelioma by itself. Instead, the study confirms what scientists have suspected for at least 60 years: The primary cause of mesothelioma is almost always asbestos. The goal of the study was to see if radiation exposure by itself raises the risk for mesothelioma. Researchers analyzed three groups of people exposed to radiation on the job. After reviewing more than 50 years worth of records, the team found that some workers were more likely than others to get malignant mesothelioma. But these were not the workers with the most radiation exposure. Radiation, Asbestos, and Mesothelioma A team of epidemiologists, cancer specialists, and radiation experts ran the new study. … Continue reading Radiation Exposure Alone Unlikely to Cause Mesothelioma
New research shows adjuvant radiotherapy is most likely to help pleural mesothelioma patients in the early stages of the disease. By the time mesothelioma is at Stage III or Stage IV, adjuvant radiotherapy is unlikely to improve survival. Researchers at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas conducted the study on more than 2,500 pleural mesothelioma patients. Their results appear in the most recent issue of the Journal of Thoracic Disease. The study could help mesothelioma patients and doctors make more informed choices about their care. Defining the Stages of Pleural Mesothelioma The four stages of mesothelioma relate to the severity of the cancer and how far it has spread. In Stage I mesothelioma, the tumor is confined to the pleural … Continue reading Adjuvant Radiotherapy Most Effective for Pleural Mesothelioma in Early Stages
Italian researchers presenting at an international conference this week say the right kind of radiotherapy for mesothelioma can dramatically boost survival. Radiation oncologist Marco Trovo and his colleagues at the University Hospital of Udine conducted the new mesothelioma research. They studied 108 pleural mesothelioma patients whose tumors could not be completely removed with surgery. Pleural mesothelioma affects the membrane around the lungs and is usually fatal within a year. But in the new study, more than half of the patients who had high doses of targeted radiotherapy in just the right area were still alive two years later. In contrast, just over a quarter of the patients who had palliative radiotherapy for mesothelioma lived to two years. Curative Versus Palliative … Continue reading Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma Doubles Survival in New Study
A UK study says prophylactic radiation of the chest wall is unlikely to prevent pleural mesothelioma metastasis. Pleural mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer caused by asbestos. Tumors start on the lining around the lungs and can spread to the lungs and other organs. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type of asbestos cancer. Doctors sometimes use procedures that pierce the chest wall to help diagnose mesothelioma or to deal with mesothelioma side effects. Sometimes, new mesothelioma tumors can form along the instrument tracts or in the spot where the chest wall was pierced. When tumors spread it is known as mesothelioma metastasis. Some evidence suggests that radiating the chest wall after a procedure might prevent mesothelioma metastasis in that … Continue reading Prophylactic Radiation Will Not Prevent Pleural Mesothelioma Metastasis
The largest study ever conducted on adjuvant radiotherapy for mesothelioma shows that it can help patients live longer. Pleural mesothelioma is a rare cancer that tends to be highly resistant to standard treatments. Doctors usually have to use a combination of treatments to attack it. These may include chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery, and/or immunotherapy. But there are still many questions about what combination of therapies to use and in what order. Adjuvant radiotherapy for mesothelioma is radiation delivered prior to surgery. Now, radiation oncology researchers in Texas say this approach can extend mesothelioma survival. Killing Mesothelioma Cells with Radiation Mesothelioma cells are hard to kill. Chemotherapy with Alimta (pemetrexed) and cisplatin is the most common treatment. But mesothelioma tumors usually start … Continue reading Adjuvant Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma Extends Survival
A multi-center study involving mesothelioma patients from around the world has revealed some new information about the possible connection between mesothelioma, hematologic malignancies and radiation treatment. The study found that, among patients who had both a hematologic malignancy (like lymphoma or leukemia) and mesothelioma, those that had been treated with radiation for their hematologic cancer had better odds of surviving their mesothelioma than those who had not received radiation. Hematologic malignancies are cancers affecting the blood-forming tissues. They include diseases such as Hodgkin lymphoma, Non Hodgkin lymphoma and leukemia. Many people with these types of malignancies are treated with ionizing radiation. Unfortunately, this kind of radiation has been shown to raise the risk of developing mesothelioma later in life. To … Continue reading Mesothelioma and Hematologic Cancers: The Radiation Connection
European researchers have a bit of good news for patients coping with the pain that often accompanies late stage malignant pleural mesothelioma. They have found evidence that radiotherapy, which is sometimes prescribed to treat this pain, really can make a difference. The authors, including cancer researchers from both Scotland and Norway, note that, although radiation is often used to treat mesothelioma pain, there has been little research to support the practice. As part of a multi-center phase II clinical trial on the use of radiotherapy for mesothelioma pain, patients were assessed for baseline pain and other symptoms and then treated with 20 Gy of radiation in 5 daily fractions. Mesothelioma pain was evaluated at 5 weeks and again at 12 weeks … Continue reading Evidence Supports Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma Pain Relief
A new way of using a CT scanner may make it possible to detect the signs of mesothelioma earlier in asbestos workers without exposing them to dangerously high levels of radiation. As with most types of cancer, mesothelioma treatment outcomes are closely linked to early detection. Because people with mesothelioma often have no symptoms until decades after their asbestos exposure, some studies have suggested that CT scans of asbestos-exposed workers may offer a way to catch the disease earlier. But the radiation used in CT scanning carries its own cancer risks. Now, new research suggests that a technology developed by GE Healthcare may offer a safer way to monitor these workers for signs of mesothelioma. Radiologists and occupational medical experts … Continue reading New CT Method May Enable Safer, Earlier Mesothelioma Detection
Radiation therapy may be a better option for mesothelioma than it used to be – especially when it is delivered using advanced targeting technology. That is the message presented recently to thousands of the world’s lung cancer specialists at the European Lung Cancer Conference by a team of Australian researchers. Observing that many mesothelioma patients are not candidates for surgery and chemotherapy provides poor local control with serious toxicities, Dr. Malcolm Fiegen and his team analyzed the effectiveness of high dose radiation treatments for mesothelioma patients from 2003 to 2011. In the past, high-dose radiation has often been dismissed as a viable treatment option for mesothelioma because the irregular shape of mesothelioma tumors made it difficult to avoid toxic overdoses to healthy … Continue reading High Dose Radiation: Viable for Mesothelioma?
For mesothelioma patients who are not candidates for surgery, new research suggests that an escalated dose of radiotherapy in the right place may help slow the cancer’s progression. Mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining around the lungs and other organs, is hard to treat with traditional therapies in part because of its atypical configuration. The cancer tends to spread across the thin, membranous tissue of the mesothelium in a ‘sheet’ formation, rather than a solid mass. The odd shape of mesothelioma tumors not only makes them difficult to remove surgically, but can also make them challenging to treat with radiation without harming vital organs beneath such as the lungs. But a group of radiology researchers in Milan, Italy found that, … Continue reading Mesothelioma Radiation ‘Boost’: A Surgical Alternative?